The lively cultural town of Fethiye offers superb beaches, an abundance of watersports and its very own Roman own amphitheatre. Fethiye also has something of a quirky side too; admire the multitude of Lycian sarcophagus (ancient stone tombs) which are carved in the rocks lining the streets, which look especially impressive when lit up at night!
The Cave Tombs – Fethiye is an ancient town, having been occupied since before the times of Ancient Greece. Around this time the Lycian people lived in Turkey and they built beautiful monumental tombs to honour their most prestigious citizens. While there are a huge variety of styles, from sarcophogi to statuaries and pyres, to structures carved right into the face of the rock – the most elaborate are those in the form of Ionic temples, which can mostly be found at Fethiye (known as Telmessos back then). The tombs are located south of the main center of the city, and are easily accessible by public transportation.
Beach activities – With a prime spot on the Turkish Lycean coast, Fethiye has an abundance of beautiful and popular beaches. The most popular is the Ölüdeniz beach area, and for good reason. Geographically it forms a lagoon in which it stays relatively warm and still water – perfect for a relaxing afternoon of relaxing on the beach. Sapphire-colored water meets long stretches of clean white sand, dotted with sunbathers. The area is world-renowned for paragliding, thanks to the idyllic views. Other popular beaches are Calis beach and Gemiler beach.
It’s worth noting that the main tourist season runs from April to October, when the beaches and town are busy. Out tip is to travel in the shoulder season of autumn or spring where you can really explore to your heart’s content. And if you fall in love with the quaint little town you can always consider buying a property in Fethiye, like many of the expats stationed here have done.
Hiking in Fethiye – For the more active tourist, Fethiye is the starting point for hiking the 500 km Lycian Way. Connecting Fethiye to Antalya further up the coast, this route gives tourists a true sense of the Mediterranean, away from the crowds and immersed in the smaller villages along the way. There are many Lycian and Roman sites marked along the route, and can be taken in part or in whole by hikers of all skill (and enthusiasm) levels.
Island Day Cruises – Daily armadas of boats and yachts leave the harbour each morning and return in the evening, allowing tourists and locals an easy way to explore the Mediterranean from the comfort of a boat. Turquoise waters are never better enjoyed than from the deck of a boat and from Fethiye harbour, boats and yachts of all shapes and sizes depart.
Fethiye Amphitheatre – This Roman amphitheatre dating back to Hellenistic times is free to visit and legend has it that Alexander the Great, while sojourning in the area, enjoyed himself at this amphitheatre. It is one of the largest in the area, having had the capacity to seat around 6,000 people on 28 semi-circular rows. While it is currently mostly in a state of ruin, an extensive restoration has been suggested.
Paragliding – An incredibly popular activity to do around Fethiye, thanks in part to the stunning natural scenery of the Mediterranean and surrounding hills, it’s bound to be a great experience. Paragliders typically start their flight off of Babadağ Mountain, with a height of approximately 1900 meters and soar out and over Fethiye, eventually reaching the beach and lagoon area of Oludeniz, which makes for a premiere landing spot.
Weekly Farmer’s Market – Every Tuesday is the Fethiye Market – a fun way to immerse yourself in Turkish culture and see a vast array of merchants selling their locally produced food, authentic clothing and souvenirs to tourists and locals alike. This is the perfect way to interact with both locals and expats who have properties the in the area, as well as eating native foods and supporting local crafts.